James Beard-nominated Chef Diana Widjojo, formerly of the acclaimed Hardena, is excited to announce her popular Rice & Sambal Indonesian concept will be popping up at Joncarl Lachman’s intimate East Passyunk Dankbaar for the month of August 2023. Lachman’s popular Dutch BYO goes on hiatus, returning in September. Woman- and LGBTQ-owned Rice & Sambal at Dankbaar will include Friday and Saturday night Rijsttafel service, Sunday night pandemic-famous “Not Pizza” and two vegan/vegetarian nights.
Friday and Saturday nights diners will enjoy Widjojo’s “Mini Rijsttafel” with six sharable entrees, plus dessert, $85 p.p. with two seatings at 5:30 pm and 8 pm.
Diners can expect a delicious array of foods such as the following: Nasi Uduk – jasmine rice steamed with lemongrass, pandan, galangal, coconut milk, served over fresh vegetables; Sambals (Indonesian chili sauce or paste made with a variety chili peppers and other ingredients) — Sambal hijau, green tomato and chili garlic hot sauce with shrimp paste, Sambal terasi red pepper hot sauce with shrimp Sambal kecap, sweet soy with slices of chilies, lime leaf, shallots. Main Course: Rendang Bitterballen, fried Dutch meatballs with beef rendang, Indonesian sweet & spicy pickles, Sambal aioli. Ikan Balado, sauteed trout filet, Sumatran red pepper sauce, lemon, basil, watercress. Lawar Ayam, Balinese salad, long bean, bean sprouts, chicken, shredded coconut. Tongseng, lamb chops, Javanese mutton curry, cabbage, tomatoes, coconut milk. Tempe Bakar, grilled tempe, sweet soy sauce, lemon grass, coriander. Dessert: Kueh Putri Ayu Ubi Ungu, steamed purple sweet potato cupcake, shredded coconut, rum sauce.
“I was blessed to grow up in New York City, the most diverse city in the world. I had the opportunity to experience many cultures, but Indonesian food and culture was hardly an option or a thought,” Widjojo says. “I grew up sort of lost not having representation. I was an all-American girl aware of my roots but growing up without representation of myself meant I had to learn about my culture in the very little exposure I had here. Thankfully my family never let us forget our roots and as a young adult I made it my mission to share with people Indonesian food and culture however possible and I’m really honored to be able to do it here in Philly.”
On Sundays, Widjojo will offer her popular and fun Not Pizza — Rijsttafel served in a pizza box for clever way to take out or a casual experience to dine in — for pick up from 3pm to 7:30 pm (must be prepaid in full in order via link on Instagram for Not Pizza purchase). Not Pizza is Widjojo’s cleverly presented take on a rijsttafel meal — made popular in the pandemic — presented in a classic pizza box instead of a platter for in-restaurant enjoyment or — to go. Rijsttafel translate to “rice table” in Dutch, and is a festive and elaborate Indonesian meal adapted by the Dutch. The Netherlands colonized Indonesia from 1816 to 1941. A limited amount of Not Pizza will be made available. Each will include approximately 18-20 different foods, enough for four people, and cost $120 with tax included. Not Pizza will have vegan/vegetarian/mixed protein options but no modifications will be accommodated. Booking for Not Pizza should be made via Rice & Sambal Instagram page here.
Additionally, Widjojo will offer two Vegan Rijsttafel Nights on Thursday August 10 and Thursday August 24 with two seating at 5:30 and 7:30 at a cost per person of $75.
“Diana has been a dear friend for years. I’ve been a big fan of her family’s restaurant, Hardena, since I moved back to Philadelphia in 2013. My first visit there we brought some nice Champagne and drank out of plastic cups — I was charmed immediately,” said Chef Joncarl Lachman, owner of Dankbaar. “Diana also worked with us at Noord for a time and was a valued employee. It is my pleasure and privilege to be able to help her feature her wonderful food in an intimate environment. I feel like Dankbaar is a great spot for her to dip her toe in the water in terms of doing something on her own. When Dankbaar reopens in September, I look forward to featuring some Rijsttafels…the traditional Indonesian/Dutch feast that came about over years of our cultures being intertwined.”
Reservations may be made via TOCK.
Please note that no changes are permitted to menus. Rice & Sambal does not accommodate for allergens, as Widjojo is solo in the kitchen.
If you like what I do, throw me a coffee or a stiff drink!
I’m a *REAL* person and your support means the world to me!
Food enthusiast. Travel lover. Social media maven.
Independent Journalist. Food marketing/PR expert.